Mechanical Issues Have Wheel Man Champ Off to Rough Start

Defending Wheel Man Racing Series champion Patrick Thomas’ 2020 season is off to a rough start, with mechanical issues ending his first two days at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) early.


Thomas took part in Thursday’s Practice Day, but the afternoon was cut short after an engine failure on his Phil Jacques-prepared entry.  After replacing the engine Thursday evening, the team returned to the track Friday for the first night of racing.


However, that session ended after four laps, when Thomas moved to the top of the charts before a major transmission failure brought the car to a halt once again.


“It vibrated about the flag stand and then a car length and a half later, it stopped vibrating and smoke started coming out the back,” said Thomas.


It has made for a trying week already for the Phil Jacques team.


“It’s been an entertaining weekend already,” Jacques said.  “We lost a motor yesterday in practice and now we’ve lost a transmission, driveshaft, bearings, clutch, you name it.  We’re assessing it right now and seeing what we can do to get it back on track.”


Jacques does not believe they will compete on opening night, but hope to return for Saturday’s Sportsman feature which will also serve as a Wheelman Racing Series event.


“It may not be tonight. We may try to just piece it back together again and come back tomorrow.  We’ll have to debrief with Patrick and see what he’s thinking, what he’s got going on and go from there.”


Stay tuned to Speed51’s Trackside Now coverage of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing throughout the week, or click hereto visit Speedweeks Central for all the latest news, videos and more from Florida Speedweeks.


-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans

-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo

Mechanical Issues Have Wheel Man Champ Off to Rough Start